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How to Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia

By Debbie Nunn, 4:52 pm on

It can be difficult to watch your senior loved one with dementia battle with communication and having conversations with others. This can even be particularly frustrating for them. Sadly, dementia can affect your senior’s ability to think, comprehend, focus, and respond during conversations and change how they communicate. Still, there are several key steps you can take to better communicate with your senior and set them up for success. Read through our advice below to get the conversation started.

Be Prepared

To the first step, you can start by getting prepared for the conversation. You will want to enter into a calm and relaxed state of mind. Both your attitude and demeanor should be pleasant, and your actions need to feel genuine. Have patience and take the necessary time with your senior.

Set the Environment

You want the space where your conversation is taking place to be as relaxed as you are. That means eliminating any distractions from the environment, such as background noise and bright colors or bold patterns. Keep the area well-lit to help your senior focus on you better.

Speak Slowly and Clearly

When you speak with your senior, be clear, slow, and concise. Keep in mind that they are likely having a hard time comprehending and focusing on the conversation and do your best to enunciate your words and give them adequate time to process what you are saying before you change topics. Use specific name instead of pronouns as you mention people and places. Should your senior become confused, try to rephrase what you said instead of repeating the same thing.

Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions

Your body language and non-verbal actions are equally as vital as your actual speech. Taking small actions, such a friendly smiles or reassuring eye contact, can make all the difference when it comes to helping loved senior feel comfortable and getting them to respond during conversation.

At Home Care Assistance of Clarksville, we understand the obstacles that can come with caring for your senior loved one with dementia. Our expert caregivers are just a phone call away, and we are here to offer you our support. If you need more information on dementia care services or advice on communicating with your senior, please give us a call at (931) 218-2781 at to schedule your consultation.

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